High school, junior high students invited to compete at Linguistics Olympiad

Local high school and junior high students can test their analytical and language skills by competing in the upcoming North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. 

The internationally organized event provides young people the opportunity to explore the complexity of language by solving a variety of puzzles based on authentic linguistic phenomena, all in a competitive and fun environment.

The competition is hosted by the linguistics department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is set for Jan. 24 on the SIU campus. 

SIU is one of many host sites in North America, all linked electronically throughout the event.

High school and junior high students ages 13-19 are eligible to participate in the free competition. 

Registration is available online at nacloweb.org or at the door, with check-in beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 24 at Faner Hall 1006 (doors will open at 8:30 a.m.).

Contestants compete by solving unique linguistics and computational linguistics puzzles that are all solvable with analytical reasoning alone. 

No prior training or foreign language skills are necessary, but example questions are available online.

Competition helps students find new opportunities, while honing their analytical skills.

This is the fourth year for SIU to host the unique competition. Vicki Carstens, chair of the linguistics department, hopes the event provides students with new opportunities and ideas they may not have known about.

The NACLO competition helps bring awareness of linguistics to high school students. 

Linguistics as a field has not traditionally been taught at the high school levels, but this is something that is starting to develop and change, Carstens explained.

Winners advance to national and international competitions.

About 1,500 students will compete in the open round across the United States and Canada, with the top 10 percent of students moving on to the national invitational round scheduled for March 7. 

The top eight students from that competition will go on to represent the U.S. at the international competition in South Korea, which is one of 12 international high school science Olympiads.

For more information, contact Carstens at 618-453-3418.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
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